Want to Make Sure Israel Doesn't Become a Jewish-fascist State? Take a Tip From Turkey

People who wish to live in a secular-democratic-liberal Israel must go beyond tribal lines, or else slide into the abyss of a religious dictatorship.

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Members of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party during a rally.Credit: AP

One of the most wondrous things about humans is our amazing capacity to avoid confronting reality, to keep ourselves from facing it head-on when it doesn’t suit us. The fantastic errors made in predicting the results of the recent election serve as ample proof of this.

Even when someone does get up and call on people to confront reality, as did President Reuven Rivlin recently, he too will conveniently gaze on it with his eyes shut. When he divided Israel’s society into four "tribes" who will, in his opinion, soon be equal in size (the country's secular population, its national-religious camp, its ultra-Orthodox and the Israeli Arab community), he “forgot" – that is, he avoided seeing or looking at, another tribe, a rather large one: the Palestinian tribe.

The latter tribe, seemingly invisible to presidential eyes, is larger than the visible ones but lives outside the boundaries of Israeli democracy. It is, however, ruled by the military. The fact that we've erected a separation barrier between us and them doesn’t make them disappear from our reality, no matter how high the wall is or how tightly we shut our eyes.

In any event, we must take into serious consideration the sociological analysis of our blinded president. To a large extent, although not entirely, the fate of the Palestinian tribe, along with our own, depends on us, on the other four Rivlin tribes.

According to him 28 percent of the population belongs to the secular tribe, 15 percent are in the national-religious tribe, and about one-quarter each are part of the ultra-Orthodox or Arab tribes. The question then follows: If the secular sector wants Israel to continue being a secular-democratic-liberal country and not turn into a religious-dictatorial-fascist state, as it has been doing for years, what should it do?

What secular people have done up to now, namely jointly governing the country, in one way or another, with the other two Jewish tribes (the national-religious and ultra-Orthodox), is leading the country, within a not-too-distant time in the future, to becoming a purely Jewish-fascist state, which no crimes court will be able to contend with.

Therefore, people who wish to live in a secular-democratic-liberal country face one of two possible choices: to emigrate to another country which has these attributes, or to link up not with one of the religious-Jewish tribes but with an Arab tribe which, even if it too has national-religious elements of its own, is nevertheless led by a party and a leader, Ayman Odeh. A party that extends its hand toward, if not begs for, cooperation, fraternity, equality and peace.

This scenario not only just and correct. It is also feasible. Here is a concrete example from a neighboring country: Turkey. In the recent elections, what finally stopped it from becoming a religious-fascist country was the linkage between secular Turks and the Kurdish party, which opened the ranks, allowing the latter to enter parliament despite the very high electoral threshold (10 percent). This has put paid, for now, to the megalomania of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cronies.

One should understand that the Kurds, in the eyes of Turks, are like the Palestinians for us – an oppressed, threatening enemy which resorts to terror. But it was precisely this party, not a centrist or "leftist" Turkish party, which stopped Turkey from sliding into the abyss of a religious dictatorship. This can and should happen here as well.

Therefore, every secular person in Israel who voted in the past and who will surely vote again for a Zionist party and not for a joint Jewish-Arab list should not shed tears when a Judeo-fascist state rises here. To paraphrase an old saying, one shouldn’t cry over one’s own handiwork.

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